Some community members overlook the Upper School art studios. While one might spend one’s class time grinding away at an art project in any of the visual pursuits, it’s not often that students dedicate their mornings, evenings, or free periods to working in the studios.
Third Former Alistair Wiedmer, however, pursues art in and beyond the studio every single day. Whether it be petting a canvas with a paint-filled brush in hand, sketching away self-made character drawings on blank paper, or exploring the depths of digital illustration, he spends much time pursuing the visual arts. Upon visiting the art rooms, you’ll likely find him brainstorming his next big project. Along with school and sports, art remains among his top commitments.
Wiedmer’s most recent projects surround a single goal.
“I’ve been trying to create an original character,” Wiedemer said. “I’m trying to create my own unique art style.”
Citing visual artists such as Kaws, an American artist and designer well-known for his recognizable characters, for inspiration, Wiedmer has embarked on his exploration.
Wiedmer said, “I’m trying to spend every day learning tools that can help me in the future, like Adobe After Effects, which helps with my interest in getting into animation.”
To expand this toolkit, Wiedmer plans on moving beyond the staple drawing, painting, and building likely associated with the term “art.” He tries new things.
“I want to branch out into different mediums,” Wiedmer said. “Basically, everything I can. Beyond 2D, [I’ve] been trying 3D—like sculptures—a lot of digital mediums, animation definitely, and I really want to get into clothing.”
With so many avenues to follow, Wiedmer connects his work through a common theme he hopes will guide his future, even as a potential career.
“I want to create my own name…I want to be able to expand into real life, such as fashion. I’m really big into things like streetwear—things that are colorful and make you stand out and that aren’t exactly normal.”Alistair Wiedmer ’23
“I want to create my own name,” he said. “I want to be able to expand into real life, such as fashion. I’m really big into things like streetwear—things that are colorful and make you stand out and that aren’t exactly normal.”
With his current focus on 2D character creation, his projects already follow this budding image. For example, in a chain of recent collections, bright schemes add vibrance to individual characterized personas. These have included several projects. Developed with friends, Lunchies Club was a digital line of vegetable characters, each including a portrait of a personified vegetable. Wiedmer also has a new project with 3D modeling or animation in the works.
Much of this commitment was taken on solo, though some work was also divided up with friends. Over time, Weidmer found an interest not only in art’s production side, but also the entrepreneurial side. Harnessing advice from other artists and guides online, he soon found himself putting up his art for sale in the form of an NFT.
A NFT (Non-Fungible Token) is a type of unique digital unit on a Blockchain which represents a real-world item. These digitally exchanged units have, very recently, been popularized by the exchange of art.
In his Derpy Duckies collection, Wiedmer put some of his pieces up as NFTs. The project, which was a derivative-type collection in which the style of different characters was replicated from another artist to a different animal, sought to create various visual applications similar to that of the famous NFT collection Bored Ape Yacht Club.
In time, Wiedmer sold his first NFT from this collection.
“That is the one time I actually sold an NFT. It was out of nowhere,” Wiedmer said. “One night I was on my computer and I checked Twitter. Someone messaged me saying [they] loved a Derpy Ducky. It sold.”
Wiedmer remains thankful for this sale, as it was his impetus for continuing to combine his artistic talents with publication.
He said, “[The sale] lifted me up. It made my drive to do art increase even more.”
For artists like Wiedmer, the value of developments such as NFTs is profound.
“With NFTs, it’s easier for artists to sell their art and to really profit,” Wiedmer said, “as I don’t hear a lot of stories about regular people going online and finding pictures and paintings and being really interested. Now with NFTs, people cannot only buy artwork because they really like it, but they can also buy it to make a profit off of it. There’s an opportunity to make the money back, for [purchasers] and the artist, too.”
It’s here where Wiedmer’s inspiration for the project derives. On a personal level, he wanted to continue pursuing his passion for art, and on a practical level, he also wanted to seek an avenue to help support his family.
This transition to NFT projects also marks a change in his artistic journey.
“That [first NFT] kickstarted my passion for creating for the public, because, before that, I had been creating a lot for myself…I feel like while I’m still young, now is a good time to start experimenting. It’s trial-and-error over and over again.”Alistair Wiedmer ’23
“That [first NFT] kickstarted my passion for creating for the public, because before that, I had been creating a lot for myself,” Wiedmer said. “I feel like while I’m still young, now is a good time to start experimenting. It’s trial-and-error over and over again.”
It’s that constant commitment to learning, improving, and self-discovery which defines Wiedmer’s artistic process.
For others looking to move towards making their art public, Wiedmer has encouraging words.
“One thing that I’ve noticed with myself is that I’m scared to put something out there. I get hesitant to share my art to the world. I would say it doesn’t exactly matter how much attention it gets—you just keep on working at it and sharing it,” Wiedmer said. “I stand behind the idea that if you have an idea and you really believe it will work, it will, and that’s what I’m trying to do.”
Alistair Wiedmer ’23- Art Spread